Beer Man

Renegade Brewing will open a production brewery near its taproom, add new canned beers

Renegade Brewing, which helped invigorate the Santa Fe arts district three years ago, will sink its roots even deeper this summer when it opens a large production facility -- and eventually a second tap room -- just eight blocks south of its current location.

The brewery has just signed a lease on a 15,000-square-foot space in what will become the Yard at Santa Fe, a new "craft-centered" development at 924 West First Avenue. There, Renegade owners Brian and Khara O'Connell will install a thirty-barrel brewhouse and several large fermentation tanks, along with their own canning line from Wild Goose Engineering in Boulder.

See also: TRVE Brewing will add new production brewery dedicated to sour and wild ales

"We are just out of space," Brian O'Connell says, "and we can't keep up with demand, so we started looking for more space last summer. And since this neighborhood has become part of the identity of this company, we wanted to stay close."

Renegade grew by 130 percent in each of its first two years and expanded by 50 percent again in its third. Several other young breweries have also announced expansions recently, including Denver Beer Co and TRVE Brewing.

O'Connell says the brewery will begin by using half of the space, and that it should be operational by July, with enough capacity to brew 5,000 barrels of beer per year. When that happens, Renegade will turn its existing brewery into a barrel-storage cellar, although it will keep the taproom open.

About a year after that, O'Connell will take possession of the rest of the space. At that point, he'd like to add a taproom to the production brewery. The 2.5-acre Yard at Santa Fe, which was home to the Stark lumberyard for more than 100 years, will eventually also include a restaurant and possibly a distillery and a coffee roaster.

Along with these changes, Renegade has signed on with Elite Brands of Colorado, which will distribute its beer. Renegade currently cans two year-round beers and two seasonals, but will expand those offerings to four of each. It will also expand its bomber-bottle releases -- a format that it just began using in March.

"So many businesses have told us that we brought a new element to the neighborhood, and now we'll be able to anchor it at both ends," O'Connell says.

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Jonathan Shikes is a Denver native who writes about business and beer for Westword.
Contact: Jonathan Shikes